This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Comparing Classical Vs. Modern Liberalism Essay

1673 words - 7 pages

Typically Liberalism can be categorized into two different strands, Classical and Modern (yet some thinkers advocate a third strand that is referred to as Neo-Liberalism), each characterized by their differing and to some extent unavoidably overlapping attitudes regarding the theory behind the ideology and how it should be put into practice. Prior to examining how these relate to one another and before making any comparisons, it is important to give a definition, as best as possible, of Liberalism as a concept.

Liberalism is an ideology and due to the changing views of historical persons, who have each viewed themselves to be Liberals, is difficult to define precisely. There are five agreed defining tenants of Liberalism. The most important of these, percolating through the ideology, is the ‘Importance of the Individual’, and closely interlinked with this is ‘Freedom’, which leads on to the concept of ‘Individual Freedom or liberty’. Liberals believe that humankind is a rational species, and thus ‘Reason’ is a third tenant. Furthermore Liberalism advocates that the principle of ‘Justice’ and Toleration’ are fundamental in the well being of society and each of these aspects relates directly back to the quintessential first tenant. Liberalism, according to Habermas “emphasizes individual freedom from restraint and is usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard; c: a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties.” As an individualist, rather than a collectivist ideology the individual is placed as the building block of society. J. S. Mill says behind this lies the belief that we are all different and this diversity should be seen as a strength not a danger or weakness. Liberalism emphasizes the importance of Rights in society, and that society’s role is to protect these rights and put them first.

Modern and Classical liberalism can be distinguished historically. Indeed when most people attempt to distinguish the two, placing the strands into time periods is perhaps the most obvious and easiest distinctions to make. The period in between the late 18th century and the mid 19th is that magnanimous with Classical liberalism. It was the earliest liberal tradition, and reached its high point during the early industrialization of the 19th century and is therefore sometimes referred to as ‘19th century liberalism’. Politicians and thinkers associated with it are Smith, Ricardo and Locke. Modern liberal ideas were related to the further development of industrialization and thus people associate it with the period between the mid-19th century and the mid-20th century and with figures such as J. S. Mill, Green and Lloyd- George. Indeed the historical development of society led to a parallel evolution of liberalism, with the character of liberalism changing as the...

Find Another Essay On Comparing Classical vs. Modern Liberalism

The Progressive Society Essay

950 words - 4 pages Philosopher Nietzsche whom published work on his atheist theories. He admired personal traits that enhanced survival instead of the basic Christian traits to strive towards. He was influenced a great deal by Charles Darwin’s theory of Evolution which was also of much hated debate to this day. Even Classical liberalism was challenged in the fact that it wasn’t progressive enough in its economics which eventual changed their entire party to a more

Social Democracy Cures Social Inequality Essay

1610 words - 6 pages added those philosophies to their own ideology. These ideas include freedom, individual rights, reason, justice, and toleration and diversity (Heywood, 2003). Modern liberalism has changed its basic philosophy as it now accepts many of the social policies that it previously in history would reject, such as universal healthcare, old age pensions, employment insurance. Another negative aspect of liberalism is some of the more radical of the ideology

Answering the "Social Question": The Progressive remaking of American Liberalism

1639 words - 7 pages reconciled, according to Berkowitz through the development of a sort of 'Progressive Liberalism' that in many respects, diverged from Classical Liberalism in many key tenets (Berkowitz, 2003: 27-47). In light of this apparent divergence from Classical Liberal theory, can American Liberalism today, as informed by Progressive Liberalism, really be regarded as Liberal, or has it strayed so far that its only resemblance is etymological? This essay

Introduction to Political Science

1930 words - 8 pages , there exist four distinct types of ideologies which are classical liberalism, modern liberalism, socialism, and social democracy. Liberalism, as a whole is a political ideology focused on people's liberty. The early liberals, usually represented by John Locke and Adam Smith, are called classical liberals, and the later liberals, usually represented by Thomas Hill Green and Jane Addams, are called the modern liberals. First of all, I would discuss the

The Transformation of Liberalism

2879 words - 12 pages been lost in the conversion into modern liberalism. In order to answer this, the areas of freedom, the role of government, human nature, and the function of law should be addressed. While this may not be a complete register of change in liberalism, research into these subjects can provide strong indications toward the nature of this transition. Objectively, the evidence suggests that many of the ideas of classical liberalism were either abandoned


1578 words - 6 pages to each other, the cost of withdrawing from cooperation increase and it will lead to collective security (Mitrany, 1943). These will reduce the importance of national interest and states will give more importance to collective interests. Another difference between liberalism and realism is their ideas about human nature. While classical realists think that human nature is the cause of conflicts, liberalists believe that human nature is

Explore the relationship between political liberalism and the concept of ‘freedom of press’. Critically evaluate how it is applied both in the pri

946 words - 4 pages “Liberalism is an ideology based on the commitment to individualism, freedom, toleration and consent”. There are two types of liberalism; classical liberalism and modern liberalism. Classical liberalism is an extreme form of individualism. People are seen as egotistical and self-reliant. Classical liberalists are proprietors of themselves and their abilities who believe they own nothing to society or others. This suggests that there is an

The Development of Liberalism down the Ages

1540 words - 7 pages   In this paper, an attempt has been made to capture the journey from classical liberalism and its transformation down the ages. The idea of liberalism originated in Europe with the thoughts of political philosophers like J.S. Mill, Herbert Spencer, John Locke. They were of the opinion that state activities can regulate an individual in so far as it aids towards his self expression and individual action. They also said that states were


1117 words - 5 pages ideas of classical liberalism by securing the individual freedom by limiting the power of the government. Modern political philosophers, such as Richard Hudelson suggest that “it advocates civil liberties with a limited government under the rule of law and belief in laissez-faire economic policy.” (Hudelson, Richard 1999. Modern Political Philosophy. Pg. 37-38). Libertarianism and laissez-faire economic policy both tie together by limiting


2790 words - 11 pages if the community was totally hurt by the king's will. Liberalism is also divided in two branches, liberal liberalism and modern liberalism.The modern liberalism stresses the importance of the liberty of each individual limiting the power of the government as much as possible while the modern liberalism gives more power to the government. The theorist Benjamin Constant, (1767-1838) stresses clearly the opposition of the classical liberal thinking

A Discription of Contemporary Liberalism and Communitarianism

919 words - 4 pages liberalism, particularly on Rawls's theory of justice and his principle of justice. Secondly, I will illustrate communitarian's main ideas and their arguments with Rawls, which are the questions to Rawls's original position and individualism. Finally, I will give my opinions to the debates and defend Rawls by following Rawls's contexts.The Features of Contemporary Liberalism.The characters of modern liberalism could not be specifically defined, but we

Similar Essays

Classical Liberalism Vs. Classical Conservatism Essay

1381 words - 6 pages Classical Liberalism vs. Classical Conservatism In today's society, most people are unable to explain the differences between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. In fact, the two parties' ideologies seem to be very much alike; and therefore, people tend to believe that a Republican candidate and a Democratic candidate running for the same office will not make a large difference from one another. Furthermore, both Democrats, the

How Liberism Has Evolved During The 20th Century

1065 words - 5 pages . A key difference between modern and classical liberalism is positive freedom. Modern liberals believe in a positive view of freedom with state created conditions that people choose in order to progress. Both the modern and classical liberals believe that freedom is the ultimate goal politically in whatever form it takes. All liberal views on equality stem from the idea of individualism. A qualified welfare is the means by which positive freedom

The Classical Liberalism Essay

1096 words - 5 pages Introduction The Classical liberalism theory mainly emphasis is sited on shielding the freedom of the individual by restricting the power of the government. Classical liberalism is a wide philosophy of politics, economics, and human society that upholds individual freedom and the acknowledgement of universal human dignity. The most important features of The classical liberalism theory is consist of the following beliefs: All human beings have

Explain The Link Between Liberalism And Rationalism St Hugh's School Pollitics,15 Marker, A2, Ideologies

645 words - 3 pages Explain the link between liberalism and rationalism Rationalism is the belief that the world has a rational structure, which can be disclosed through the application of reason and analysis. Liberalism is traditionally split into two strands. The first, classical liberalism was classical liberalism, is often referred to as economic liberalism and the second is modern liberalism and its establishment is usually associated with Thomas Green and is